Essential Oils; A Review:- 1

Lavender (Lavandula Angustifolia)

There are over 400 species of Lavender worldwide meaning that Lavender oil has a wide variety of scents and qualities. It is acquired from the steam distillation from the flower spikes of certain species of lavender.

French Lavender

Historically prized with its association to matters of the heart; both chastity and as an aphrodisiac – the debate runs on, regardless, Lavender Oil is renown for its calming, lightly floral scent to soothe both the mind and body. It has a deep, richly herbaceous tone, with a mellow, fruity top note; loved by many – not by all. It is known as one of the safest and most versatile of natural remedies – which is why it is number 1 in my list of essential oils to review. Derived from the Latin, Lavare, ‘to wash’, you’ll regularly find lavender soaps, powders, bath oils, perfumes and household products in stores around the globe and in prices ranging from a few £’s to a few £100’s.

Going back, way, way back, Lavender (Lavandula angustifola) is one of the most popular and widely used scents documented in ancient texts for its medicinal and religious uses, originating with mummification in Egypt to warding off plagues and diseases in ancient Greece and Rome, to its inclusion in bathing, food and fragrance.

We only need to reflect on our own experiences of living in a global pandemic to imagine the impact of the great plagues in history; Athens for talk sake or the Black Plague to name but a few, to envisage the scale and mortality rates of the contagion, particularly without 21st Century progressive medicine. Hippocrates is accredited back then with using essential oils; harnessing the powers of local fauna and flora, to save his people from disease, without realising quite how they worked.

The plague of Athens

“Humans are always blaming the gods for their suffering / but they experience pain beyond their fate because of their own recklessness.” Zeus, Homer’s “Odyssey”.

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Lavender essential oil can be used in a multitude of ways to relieve many ailments, physically and emotionally due to it’s calming and soothing effects and aroma. This ranges from boosting your emotional wellbeing, enhancing your hygiene and beauty regime, easing and healing a topical skin ailments to physically reducing tension and stress via massage as well as aiding a great night’s sleep.

Lavender blends well with most citrus oils, especially Bergamot and Lime, Neroli and Eucalyptus and Herbaceous oils like Marjoram and Basil. In perfumery terms, the rule of thumb is that your blend should consist of 45-55% base note essential oils, 35-45% middle or heart note essential oils and 15 -25% top note essential oils. Lavender is considered as a base – mid note oil, meaning that it is a longer lasting aroma, which persists throughout the candle, diffuser or room mist for example.

In fact, as an all rounder, it blends well with the majority of essential oils, from the three main aromatherapy categories; soothing / relaxing, uplifting and grounding / balancing.

Lavender can be used independently or mixed with other essential oils as a blend via a variety of methods:

  • Topically, mixed with a carrier oil, apply directly to stings and burns or use as a soothing blend for a massage
  • Add to emollients, moisturisers, shampoo, conditioners and deodorants to enhance your hygiene and beauty range
  • Add to electronic vaporisers to add the soothing aroma into the air
  • Add to reed diffusers for a continuous release of Lavender into your home
  • Add to pulse points, feet, behind ears, via a roller ball, mixed with a carrier oil to alleviated stress, anxiety and tension
  • Add to a room spray, mixed with a small amount of perfumers alcohol and distilled water and spritz when required
  • Add to a blend when making candles and burn when required
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Some of my favourite Lavender Blends for you to try out…

Best Ever Sleep:

  • 5 drops Lavender essential oil to release stress and tension
  • 4 drops Sweet Marjoram essential oil to aid a calm and healthy respiration
  • 2 drops of Cedarwood Essential Oil to relieve stress and worry
  • 2 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil to cleanse the air
  • 1 drop Frankincense to ground the mind and body
  • Add to 100mls of distilled water in a water spritz bottle and spray over your bed and bedroom

Relaxation Blend:

  • 4 drops Lavender Essential Oil to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety
  • 4 drops Sweet Orange Essential Oil to promote wellness and relaxation
  • 2 drops Frankincense Essential Oil to improve mood and decrease stress
  • Add to vaporiser mixed with distilled water

Why don’t you try and mix up some blends of your own – share your experiences with me here? The beauty of Aromatherapy is that you can mix the majority of oils to your liking ignoring the perfumery rule of thumb – if you like it, then it will work with you

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